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Medical societies report critical care crisis in United States

(NORTHBROOK, IL, March 29, 2004) - Critical care professional societies in the United States are urging the federal government to address the impending critical care workforce shortage and other deficiencies in critical care medicine before the nation enters into a full-scale critical care crisis. The Critical Care Workforce Partnership, comprised of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), has issued a report outlining the state of critical care medicine in the United States and strategies to prevent a crisis in the delivery of critical care services. The Partnership's findings are presented in a special report and corresponding white paper in the April issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the ACCP.

"Critical care professional societies and their members have felt the tremendous strain caused by the depletion of critical care resources and the increased patient demand for critical care services. These trends have forced critical care in the United States to enter into an extremely vulnerable state, leaving our critical care professionals and their patients equally as vulnerable," said report co-author Mark A. Kelley, MD, FCCP, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI. "The Critical Care Workforce Partnership is appealing to both the medical profession and public policy makers to take action against these alarming trends in critical care before the consequences become insurmountable."

In 2000, the Committee on Manpower for Pulmonary and Critical Care Services (COMPACCS), including members of the ACCP, ATS, and SCCM, published a study predicting that critical care specialists would not be able to meet the demands of the aging population in the United States and that the effects of the manpower shortage would reach crisis proportions in 2007. To address this imminent critical care issue, the three medica
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Contact: Arielle Green
agreen@chestnet.org
847-498-8387
American College of Chest Physicians
29-Mar-2004


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